Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP)
AIZAWL, July 6: The 44th raising day of Mizoram’s apex women’s body, Mizo Hmeichhe Insuihkhawm Pawl (MHIP), was observed across the State today. Attending a function at Sailulak village under her Hrangturzo constituency, the State’s lone woman minister, Vanlalawmpuii Chawngthu, said that the status of women in the Mizo society is much better than what it was in the olden days. Meanwhile, former MHIP president B Sangkhumi said: “Our struggle for gender equality during the past 44 years has yielded significant results.” 

Thanks to the women’s campaign, the Mizoram Baptist Church has agreed to ordain women as pastors about three years back. Though the Mizoram Presbyterian Church is yet to approve of women’s ordination, a significant number of women have been included in its top committees and as Sunday school teachers, Sangkhumi said. 

The Mizoram Legislative Assembly passed the Mizo Marriage Divorce and Inheritance of Property Act, 2014, that liberated women from the male-friendly Mizo customary laws. The Act passed in December 2014 was a major milestone, and was the result of concerted efforts on the part of the women’s wings of different political parties and erudite Mizo women, the woman activist pointed out. The MHIP, established on June 6, 1974, has women’s empowerment as its avowed theme. 

Even though women are the major workforce in a family, the real authority over the family economy lies with the head of the family who is invariably a male, Sangkhumi rued. Women’s representation in the State Assembly is also minimal, with only a single woman legislator in the 40-member House. 

Vanlalawmpuii Chhawngthu, who was elected from Hrangturzo in a byelection in April last year, became the first woman MLA after 27 years. She was later made a minister of state. Incidentally, Lalhlimpuii was the first woman minister in the then Laldenga Government in 1987-1988. - Assam Tribune

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